The E-guide to Mekong Responsible Tourism came alive thanks to the dedicated work of a team of persons who have sometimes sacrificed their normal fees to support it.

The authors who contributed to the writing of the E-guide are not professional writers but experts in sustainable tourism. All of them have been engaged in developing sustainable tourism development projects, at the institutional level and at the grass-roots level. They’ve developed a special bond with the countries they’ve adopted as their bases, and possess good knowledge of their tourism offer. They shared with you their best kept addresses and contacts. This allows us to ensure optimum compliance with the principles of responsible tourism and to present you with the most comprehensive and best possible offer available in each country.

Note: A few entries from the former edition were only slightly revised as there was no specific change or reason to delete them. The authors of the first edition are presented here .

Project management

Christine Jacquemin  jacqueminchristine@gmail.com

Christine Jacquemin is a long-term and faithful Mekong lover. Her first contact with the Mekong region dates back to the 70’s when she lived in Viet Nam as a kid. After graduating from the Sorbonne University, Paris with a BA in English literature and a master in Tourism Management & Marketing and, a few years work experience in airlines, hotels or as a tourism consultant, she left to Thailand to work for a French magazine called ‘Le Mekong’.  From 1994 to 2001, she always worked at promoting the then nascent Mekong destinations; among other things she initiated and conducted the launch of the first travel magazine dedicated to the Mekong ‘Thailand & Indochina Traveller’ with the Post Publishing Public Cy in 1997.

Witnessing the negative social and environmental impacts of tourism, while she worked as production manager for a tour operator, she designed in 1999 a code of conduct. But this was not enough, she decided to specialise in sustainable tourism development, and graduated from Greenwich University, UK with a Msc in Tourism Conservation and Sustainable Development and entered the world of International organisations, with as a cutting edge advantage her wide experience of the private sector. Since then, she’s been passionately advocating and working in favour of mainstreaming responsible tourism principles; she worked at grass root level as the first STEP coordinator (sustainable tourism to eliminate poverty) in West & Central Africa for UNWTO, and was then recruited by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to handle the position of project coordinator at the MTCO.

Fanny Saillour, student in Tourism from University of Corsica

Fanny worked with Christine as an intern for a three month period during which she managed the English content uploading of the site, she was instrumental in the development of the website. Her favours never the less goes to Australia where she dreams of settling down.

Cambodia

Sharee Bauld  sharee@bauld.com

With tourism being her background and passion, Sharee has spent the last 12 years living and working in South East Asia – the past nine in Cambodia working as a tourism consultant. When she is not working, she would prefer to be found exploring the many unique and beautiful sites of Cambodia, finding that all important next destination that proves Cambodia is an opening flower for all who wish to find her most inner beauty. You’ll recognize her pleasant and precise writing style as well in the Myanmar section.

Yunnan and Guangxi provinces of China

Alex Hirsch alex@overlandchina.com

Alex Hirsch

Alex Hirsch is a founding partner of Overland China, a company dedicated to promoting small, locally owned tourism suppliers for visitors to Yunnan, Guangxi and Sichuan Provinces in China. After graduating from George Washington University in 2006 with a Masters in Tourism Administration, he moved to Chengdu, Sichuan to explore all that south western China has to offer.  He has volunteered to preserve the Giant Panda habitat in Sichuan Province and contributed to sustainable tourism development projects in the region. He is just now becoming tolerant of spicy food.

Jiang Xiaotang is a Yunnan native, Tang has explored each corner of Yunnan as a backpacker and a researcher. She was an academician with the Asian International River Centre, and she continues to be an avid mountaineer and an active worldwide traveller and gastronome. After a two year profound working for The Nature Conservancy, Eco-tourism Project in Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site, Tang relocated to Dubai to tackle new challenges as Chinese Content Manager for Emirates Airline. Tang remains a lifetime conservationist and passionate supporter of ecologically sound and sustainable development of her home province Yunnan, China and provided support to Alex.

Laos

Jean Yves Paille paillejeanyves@yahoo.ca

Jean-Yves PailleJean-Yves’ career path has taken him from his native Jura’s mountains in France to Quebec, Cambodia and then Laos with several stops along the way to study Geography and local development, to meet his wife and finally to experience different cultures. In each location, he always jumped on his deep love for outdoors, encounters with the locals and sampling new tastes in their enriching company.  He spent a couple of years working into the tourism industry and in particular for Exotissimo, as an adviser in ecotourism development while spending time to explore the destinations on his dirt bike or through long distances treks. Jean-Yves is now based in Vientiane with his family and when not travelling or hiking, he is probably playing with his daughter and planning with her their next trip to remote areas. He’s fluent in Lao and Vietnamese.

Myanmar

Nyein Chan from SST Myanmar

Nyein Chan from SST

SST helped us to identify potent candidates in Myanmar. Further research and the writing of the entries were done by Sharee Bauld. S.S.T Tourism Company Limited is a Burmese owned and managed company that was established in 1998. There are specialised in the organisation of nature tours and CBT tours for Individual and small groups: Bird watching Tour, Adventure Tour, Wild expedition Tour, Hill tribal Tour, Elephant riding Tour, Cave Tour, International Dendrology Tour, Research Tour and Anthropological Tour.

They cater also for domestic markets including pilgrimage tours. They are working closely with the nature and wildlife conservation division of Myanmar forest department, scientists, and researchers, focusing on Ecotourism development and participated to the writing of the Myanmar Ecotourism development paper.

Thailand

Peter Richards peter.e.richards@gmail.com

Guide to Mekong Responsible Tourism

Peter and Louie Richards

Inspired by the cultural diversity of Thailand, Peter Richards, a British citizen, has spent 12 years of “never a dull day”, living and working in Thailand, stepping towards sustainable tourism, alongside local NGO’s, Thai communities, responsible tour operators, tour guides, hotels and restaurants. After 3 years as a tour leader and Responsible Travel Coordinator for Intrepid Travel, he volunteered for the Responsible Ecological Social Tours Project (REST). This became a full time role: he helped establishing the Thailand Community Based Tourism Institute (CBT-I), and worked as the Marketing Support and Development Coordinator.  He supervised the EU-funded CSR-MAP project in Thailand. He is currently working with the European Centre for Eco and Agro Tourism (ECEAT) to develop cooperation between EU and Thailand on the Travelife Sustainability System. Fluent in Thai he’s a professional, participatory trainer, who regularly facilitates workshops.

Viet Nam

Achim Munz achim.munz@gmail.com

Vietnam Author Achim Munz from small town Wangen in Germany moved to Vietnam in 2007.  Prior to Vietnam he lived and worked in New Zealand for over six years.  Achim is a tourism development consultant working mainly on projects in Vietnam’s protected areas.  His work often deals with providing a basis for developing responsible tourism such as preparing tourism plans for Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park and Con Dao National Park, or developing a system for trekking routes in Sapa.  More recently he has been involved with improving signs and interpretation at Cat Tien National Park.  Achim resides in Hanoi and loves riding motorbikes.

The proofreaderCatharine

Catharine Smart

Proofreader Catharine Smart is a native of London who has been living abroad since 1990. During three years spent living in South Korea, she has travelled (and blogged) extensively in Asia. She also possesses an in-depth knowledge of the Indian Ocean islands. Working freelance as a French to English translator she has, amongst other projects, translated several websites. She can be contacted at smartranslate@gmail.com.

The translator

Catherine Germier-Hamel (cg.hamel@hotmail.com) was born in France, a few days before Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon. Since then, she has developed a passion for life on Earth and therefore resolved to dedicate herself to its exploration and protection.Catherine

Over the last ten years, Catherine has gained international experience in sustainable tourism, particularly in developing countries. She’s been working with the STEP foundation for four years.

Considering that there is no tourism without tourists, she has created the blog www.millennium-destinations.com in order to give more exposure to responsible and sustainable tourism initiatives with a special focus on African and Asian destinations. She has been living in Korea since 2005 and occasionally works as a translator.

Web development

Opus

OPUS is a marketing and communications agency specialised in online marketing, visual brand development and advertising concepts for print. They offer creative services that support brands from their very conception, through launch and growth.Phillip Butler

Their service include:

  • Online Marketing & Website Development
  • Corporate Identity & Brand Development
  • Advertising

Phillip Butler,  Managing Director

With over five years of experience managing creative and technical projects, Phillip is adept at shaping concepts and creating solutions for corporate, governmental, and non-profit clients.Phillip started his professional career path in IT and customer service in the 1990s. This foundation helps the experience of choosing OPUS as a service provider smooth and enjoyable, as well as operationally successful.

Warren Daly, Chief Technical Officer

An analytical and dynamic professional with over twelve years experience in on-line service delivery and in the music industry, Warren possesses keen business and technical skills and extensive knowledge of event organisation and promotion. Warren is a core pillar of the creative entity that is OPUS Cambodia.